Sold in the City

I am not obsessed with Sex and the City. I only mention this because it occurs to me I might have talked about SATC in another post and I want to be clear. (As a woman, I would rather distance myself from those of our tribe who have somehow latched onto that HBO phenomenon as a step-by-step guide to modern womanhood. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just a chic-er version of Trekkie-ism.) That said, let’s all just admit right now that it was, whatever the over-saturated aftermath, a piece of pop-culture that did, in some way, shift public consciousness about fashion and femininity, and so does not bear dismissal (at least not outright).

In the last months there has been the expected amount of buzz about the latest SATC movie, due for release in May of 2010. Internet gossip sites are rife with photos of SJP et al, on location and dressed to impress. Sort of.

I remember the first time I watched SATC. It was the late 90s and, fashion-wise, I was feeling kind of bored. The pierced-and-dyed grunge aesthetic had become mainstream enough to be adopted by elementary-school secretaries, runway fashion was dominated by nudity (with strappy shoes) which was hard to pull off during the long Canadian winters, and the ravers had finally lost their minds completely. I wanted something else – more creative, less presciptive, intelligent, inspiring. Enter Pat Field. Her styling decisions in those early years were everything I’d been missing. The startling (for TV) mix of current trend and vintage quirk felt unique and fearless (the latter was amusingly illustrated by frequent fashion disasters that somehow came off as charming, which was a revelation to me). I found myself combing Goodwills and Salvation Armies, armed with ideas and new sense of adventure. It was really good fashion – and it felt totally accessible. I still think the first four seasons especially are some of the best (and wonderfully worst) fashion the small screen has seen since Mary Tyler Moore.
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